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Anti-Seizure Techniques

How do you keep people from grabbing you when you are swamped? Do you sit down with them and have a quiet, reasoned discussion, explaining why you are sometimes too busy for them? Do you dash on, yelling "sorry, not now!" or "gerroff!"? If so, do you explain later by e-mail, in person, or not at all? Do you stop and stare, say it's rude, threaten mayhem?

Most important: Does it work? Do you ever get grabbed by the same person again? If so, is it only in exigent situations or also for non-emergencies that they grab you?



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 22nd, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC)
I recently did the dashing off thing, though I was annoyed with the useless person at the time, and had just nearly opened myself to a lawsuit. Fortunately, it led to said useless person removing himself from my organising committee, so all's well that ends well, I guess.
Nov. 22nd, 2008 06:55 pm (UTC)
Good riddance to bad rubbish in your case, but...
... with the people I am dashing away from, I'm not trying to permanently divest myself of them. I'm trying to teach them better manners. Most are my own graduate advisees and a few are students in my classes. So, "they'll be back", as the present governor of CA would say.

Nov. 22nd, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Good riddance to bad rubbish in your case, but...
in that case, I'd opt for the quick but firm discussion. :)
Nov. 23rd, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
Quick but firm discussion
Good idea.

Nov. 22nd, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC)
Heh, CS 125. Can't say much about persistent students - I actually avoided office hours and my advisors. However, my usual way to stop a question/request for information that I'm not going to respond to at the moment is to raise my hand (or just a finger) up to about face level in a "stop/wait;I'm going to say something" gesture - the movement catches their eye, is non-threatening, and usually pauses any immediate question they're asking, since it means they have your attention, but you intend to say something. And that gives you more control of the situation. At that point, a quick, "Sorry, not now - {brief reason:going to class / lemme finish this line of code / the world is ending}" will usually stop the person from bothering me further.

Ideally, you'd go back and figure out what they were going to ask you for, since you effectively put them on pause, but... that may not be the best case if you get attacked by hordes of students.
Nov. 22nd, 2008 09:46 pm (UTC)
Would it work to let the person know when you are available? Professors often state in their initial contact with a class that they are available in their offices at a certain hour. You could do the same and brush off the grabbers and swampers to a time more convenient for you.
Nov. 23rd, 2008 01:08 am (UTC)
I politely but firmly explain that I'm not available but would be happy to schedule a meeting... and ask them to send an email or calendar invitation. If I have time, I'll let them know my next available timeslot, but often I don't have time for even that. Once people get used to firm boundaries, the flyby visits lessen.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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